Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Clipped Into Co-option

Outline

  1. Admonishing Eritrea;
  2. Brief reply to comments regarding my previous posting (Ethiopia, Tesfay Temnewo, Our youth)
  3. Clipped into Co-option

I know beforehand that this article is going to stir some grumbling within some corners of our communities for two reasons: confrontational denunciations of patrons of the Ethiopian intrusion, and for diverting focus on Ethiopia rather than admonishing PFDJ.  Anyway, before I delve into the analysis of my subject matter please allow me to say that I have no other reason or hidden agenda but to put certain things in perspectives concerning Eritrean affairs – i.e. primarily against the tyrant in Asmara; in addition to that, the tricksters in Addis Ababa.

Admonishing the Government of Eritrea is appropriate.  The number of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners continues to grow; political persecution, torture and other ill-treatment are prevalent; there is no end to military conscription; the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and defections is increasing every year; Eritreans are being trafficked more than ever …etc. I guess it suffices to read the following reports that have been internationally published since last March.

  1. Young and Astray: An Assessment of Factors Driving the Movement of Unaccompanied Children and Adolescents from Eritrea into Ethiopia, Sudan and Beyond. By Womens Refugee Commission
  2.  Refugees and the Rashaida: human smuggling and trafficking from Eritrea to Sudan and Egypt. Reasearch Paper sponsored by UNHCR
  3.  Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea. United Nations A/HRC/23/53 General Assembly
  4. Eritrea: 20 years of independence, but still no freedom. Amnesty International
  5. Eritrea: Scenarios for Future Transition. International Crisis Group

Eritrea, rightly so, continues to be admonished for all its human rights abuses in the world arena.  However, as pressure mounts on Eritrea, the international community is not paying attention to what is happening to us – pressure from our neighbors to yield to their prescriptive tactic.

My fellow Eritreans, we cannot afford to stop asking ourselves hard questions during this crucial moment in our history.  As PFDJ continues to sit on shaky ground we cannot afford to sit still on the fence and watch things get out of control from afar, can we?  At the same time we cannot sit back and allow Ethiopia aggravate our situation through its intrusive activities.  Let me address the issue regarding the need to steer clear of Ethiopia’s pathway.  My argument is speaking out against and rebuffing Ethiopian intrusion in our affairs is one of the many actions we can take while we have time – before the sound of our protest dies unheard.  If Ethiopia wants to help us then it should stop meddling now.  Their intrusion will make our struggle a purposeless campaign.  To deny them the moral high ground they are trying to appropriate through various means, is tantamount to strengthening the inner conscience of our country.    .

Call it vanity, I often catch myself asking a question I find quite challenging.  What do I want to be remembered for after I die? Over the coming years, we may all face this important question.  The question comes to me because of the tragic circumstance that has been created around us by those who are misled by Ethiopia. Aren’t we witnessing some Eritreans not stepping up to some needed issues and not taking on great odds in exercising our patriotic obligations?  We may not want to ask ourselves such a question because we are too caught up in our lives.  Whatever our circumstance may be we have the obligation to raise questions regarding our country’s future not only in terms of PFDJ’s brutality but Ethiopia’s unscrupulous intentions – facts our young citizens should be aware of.

In my previous article I mentioned that some are betraying themselves as they are betraying our people by colluding with Ethiopia-led campaign. I believe this point raised some interest among some readers.  Some wrote with regards to:

  1. Ethiopian dominion:  I believe the Ethiopian intrusion to muddy our struggle and undermine our confidence is a futile exercise. I will raise more points regarding this matter in the ensuing paragraphs.
  2. Tesfay Temnewo:  Please forgive me for being cruel and crude here – I am not going to allow a ‘hadami’ (deserter) to lecture me on the history of our struggle for independence.  I want others to inform me what our struggle was all about – the soul of Kidane Kiflu, the courage of Dawit wedi police, the confidence of Fissehaye wedi Finanza, the intellect of Abu Arre, the ever inspiring songs of the legendary wedi TiKul, the melodious poetry of adey Zemzem  and more.  Tesfay Temnewo is an opportunist who is distorting our history to his advantage and trying to improve his social status because he has been rejected in all aspects of his life.
  3. Our Youth: What do we call the generation of young men and women who came of age during or immediately following Eritrean independence? The Lost Generation!  Being products of the Isaias Afwerki era, the post-independence generation is viewed by many as cynical and disillusioned.  Sadly, they seem to have lost the tenets we once espoused; they ignore accepted standards of behavior and they have become contemptuous of values many of us grew up with.  I am afraid they, of course of no fault of their own, are disillusioned because they have no ideals.  How much our youth have missed out on in life is indescribable! Anyway, these very cynical and disillusioned youngsters, who are dispersed in neighboring countries and beyond and are leading harrowing lives, are the ones Ethiopia, with the collaboration of some of their Eritrean counterparts, are trying to recruit – to mislead them into becoming pawns entrusted to shove us into the Weyane (TPLF) corner.   What do our youth want to be remembered for after they are misled into picking up arms against the Eritrean regime?   Betrayal? Bloodshed?

The good thing is so far the conspirators who are taking direct instructions from Ethiopian officials have spectacularly failed.  Not only have they been ignored by the silent majority but they have also been at each other’s throats. Now the cynical and disillusioned youngsters are squabbling among themselves.  Furthermore, those who were entrusted to wage an assault on the rest of the campaigners from various fronts will hopefully learn from the failures of others – that the TPLF ideology will not penetrate into our psyche simply because ‘Hdri swu’at allona’ .  Our martyrs’ legacy is still alive.

Clipped into Co-option

With this article I hope, with a bit of luck, to kick-start the process of recuperation from the unfair onslaught some responsible campaigners have been enduring the last few years of our struggle for justice and democracy. Again, I would like to underline that it is not my intention to provide the Asmara government a reprieve, or disregard the appalling crimes it is committing against our people; on the contrary, my objective is to process some thoughts of concern and perplexities that are tripping us, agitations that are exploiting our vulnerabilities, and sugar-coated lies that are poised to ensnare us.  I believe once we have certain facts under our belts, and hopefully under our control, we will be in a better position to have a say in our destiny – a movement of our own, spearheaded by our own efforts and for our own people.

My fellow Eritreans, it is my moral obligation to say the interest Ethiopia is demonstrating in our affairs is not to remove Isaias from power only but to use the removal of Isaias to commandeer its strategy of gradual appropriation of Eritrea. In other words, we have to understand the Ethiopians are not doing us any neighborly favor.  We have to be aware of the fact that they need Eritreans to make their plot look legitimate, expedite their strategy to bring their yes-men in power and eventually fulfill their dream of appropriating their demands.  I am saying this not for the sake of convincing those who do not know the truth as I understand it, but for the sake of expressing my solidarity with those who do know it.

We are witnessing many deluded Eritreans sacrificing the truth to their vanity, comfort and advantage in their make-believe worlds. Take the case of Eritrean National Commission for Democratic Change (ENCDC), for instance. How Ethiopian is ENCDC? As far as I am concerned, forgive me for being too blunt, it is an organization set up by the Ethiopians, through Ethiopian resources, for the good of Ethiopians. The nonentities of the ENDC leaders seem to enjoy the attention they have received from Ethiopia for now.  Nonetheless, ENDC is run by the ineffectual pro-Ethiopia individuals who continue to nurse their chronic impotency.  To call a spade a spade, ENCDC is a sham. How soon can one forget the huge sacrifice Eritreans paid to drive the Ethiopians out of Eritrea is the source of our dignity?  We won our independence through sheer determination, and that makes us special.  We are not going to allow Eritrea to be a copy of Ethiopia. The question is how are we going to keep the Eritrean fervor alive as we are going through these challenging times?   The simple answer is by reminding ourselves repeatedly the price we paid for our independence and by our commitment to action – to remain independent as we fight for our rights as one.

Let’s also remember the following.  In the last few years we could not fight as one for obvious reasons.  We have witnessed the coming and going of Eritrean opposition groups as they were assembled and disbanded by Ethiopia at will.  Think of EDA came about and how it was rendered irrelevant when ENCDC was brought to the scene. Remember how the ENDC was ridiculed when the Debrezeit group was manufactured. Many were discarded in the process and humiliated as we sat back and watched the various acts conducted by Ethiopian officials. Those groups were made to point their finger of guilt at each other as they kowtowed to Ethiopian leaders. The kowtowing still continues. In other words, those discredited groups are clipped into co-option.

 If it weren’t for Isaias Afwerki and the PFDJ government we would have achieved a respectable position in the region by now; and a considerable level of national development. PFDJ will pass on and our time will certainly come!  For now let me say it is about time those of us who believe in Eritrea’s sovereignty got together to make a judicious and well-informed stand at this crucial time – reject Ethiopia’s manipulations, and at the same time oppose PFDJ’s rule resolutely.  Our struggle will be easier once we carve our unity out of our past struggle against Ethiopia. We should not allow the very thing that brought us together (our struggle for independence) be used to pull us apart (by the likes of Tesfay Temnewo’s skewed arguments).  We need to imagine Eritrea in oneness – a place which we are all part of, a place from which we rise up to defend, and a place to which we all return.  My fellow Eritreans, let’s prepare ourselves for what is to come tomorrow.  How?

Until next time …

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  • haile

    Selamat Serray

    You are right that I have had to spend a great deal of time debating this particular topic, that by now my stand is clear (except the reasons for it may not have been explained so well).

    Let me get to the crux of the matter that makes it difficult to form similar views as you do. Your determination as regards the link between

    A) The start of the war and
    B) The closure of democratic space in the country;

    takes the form that IA has done (A) in order to affect (B). Now, from the EECC’s point of view there is no such causative determination that can be readily applied to support your assertion. The EECC simply tells you that regardless of what happened prior to May 12, the fact that it was so determined the Eritrean side started the firefight on that day without recourse to UN approval at that point in time, renders the defendant, Eritrea [it was Ethiopia’s claim] be found guilty.

    Such determination, does so without prejudice to the parties defense or submissions prior to that date. Hence, if we wish to formulate an argument that you are advancing, we need to rely on a more prudent and rigorous examination of all pertinent facts, including the EECC. The latter can’t be taken as complete since it manifestly lacks mandate to be in such a position.

    So, we are starting now to examine, if indeed as you hold to be true, IA planned to affect (B) and hence he decided to use (A) as a preferred method of achieving it. The first problem you run into is the fact that the skirmishes, the events of May 6 and the issuing of the illegal map are facts that are supported by evidence. The second problem you would run into is the fact that there is a strong voice that claims both fronts went to this war owing to their fallout on economic matters. The third problem you would run into is the fact that (A) ended in 2000 and (B) began to occur in 2001 (almost a year later sep.-sep).

    Now let’s move to basic axiomatic analysis of the nature of things. What possibly would push IA to use a high risk gambit as (A) to do (B)? Could there have occurred to him a cheaper and quick way doing it than waiting 3 years (1998-2001)? Even more, is it possible to assume that instead of:

    IA did (A) to affect (B)

    that of..

    (B) was the result of (A) getting out of control?

    I am just trying to get you to see that the conclusion you have drawn has failed to reflect popular sentiment, and the reasoning may be the culprit here.

    Let’s continue with the inherent contradictions therein. Suppose that your preposition holds the above test points, given that IA was accused of intransigence at various stages of the peace process, wouldn’t it have been intuitive for him to call it a day and accept, say the OAU Frame Work, just after one round of battles. That is since your preposition assumes domestic motives as the driving force.Why go to round II then III and Somalia, and Ethiopian opposition, US cursing…

    Your assessment and hence conclusion needs to satisfactorily line up the ducks in each of the above case scenarios, in order that you can stand your ground in the fight for public opinion. I am afraid these dilemmas have not been properly addressed and who ever takes to be your envoy to the Eritrean people might risk politically slaughtered.

    Hence, this is why I advice against rushed conclusions that are easily crushed and used to undermine the opposition as a whole. So, serray I hope you understand the above is a quick run through…if people like saay (with deeper knowledge on the matter) were to get into it, well you probably would change your mind :-)

    Regards

    • Serray

      Selamat Haile,

      Your analysis ignored the existence of the ratified constitution. If A) was imposed, then the end of it in 2000 should have usher the era constitutional governance. The piece of land the ethiopians hold has no bearing on the constitution after the state of war ended.

      Why he waited rounds ii and iii is the same reason why he refused to demobilized; why he continued the state of siege in 2001 by arresting the G-15 and shutting down the press; why his 2013 independence speech is all about ethiopia and “the world hates us”; why he continued to help terrorists when he was threatened with sanctions. He wanted to create a crushed, fearful and paranoid nation he can control easily.

      By the way, the EECC tells me that nothing that happened before May 12, 1998, justified the war…the EECC looked into them and concluded nothing that happen before that date can be seen as the start of war. Second, the eritrea regime was a party to the decision and there is no record that it opposed the mandate of EECC as to who started the war; I am not sure where you are getting your “manifestly lacks mandate to be in such a position”. And, yes, the EECC decision is complete and I know of no other body that dealt with this issue that has more authority than an international court of law.

      But the biggest weakness in your argument is the way it ignored the ratified constitution and the single incident used to shelve it. Maybe the right way to put it is to ask you, first, what happened to it and second, how was that made possible? In your answer, you are not allowed to use the “badme” or “the war”. Try to explain eritrea’s existence since May 1998 without the war, or the war as backdrop, or the war as an excuse.

      I am still scratching my head trying to figure out why you don’t want to make the connection between isaias igniting the war and shelving of the constitution when all evidence point to it. But what is even sadder is, you want the return of badme as rallying cry (as if isaias is going to run out of excuses) when all it is going to do is vindicate the dictator. There is one way of exposing the dictator and it is not getting back badme and losing other territories; it is by holding him responsible for igniting a war that killed over a hundred thousand and plunged eritrea into the darkness.

      • haile

        Merhaba Serray,

        It is always best to underscore our respective bottom lines, hence let me put forth mine. I would NOT countenance any suggestion that I believe is intended to undermine Eritrea. The topic here is one example of such occasions. Let me first present concrete facts that:

        1) The EECC overstepped its mandate to ram through a politically motivated decision.

        2) Eritrea had in fact protested its action

        3) The EECC is not the body tasked to make such determination as relates the start of the war.

        ===========================================

        1) The EECC was one of three bodies that was provided for by the Algiers Agreement to settle the Ethiopia Eritrea border conflict. The other two bodies being the EEBC tasked with delimitation of the boundary (and hence enable pillar emplacement or demarcation) and the body that was never set up but was meant to to investigate the origins of the conflict. Indeed this was a clear travesty of justice against Eritrea. The latter body was meant to be set up under the provisions of Article 3 of the Algiers Agreement, which stated:

        Article [3]

        “In order to determine the origins of the conflict, an investigation will be carried out on the incidents of 6 May 1998 and on any other incident prior to that date which could have contributed to a misunderstanding between the parties regarding their common border, including the incidents of July and August 1997. The investigation will be carried out by an independent impartial body appointed by the Secretary General of the OAU, in consultation with the Secretary General of the United Nations and the two parties.”

        The EECC was set up under Article [5] of the Algiers Agreement that expressly prohibits the EECC from investigating or passing determination on the issue of “use of force” by stating that:

        Part of Article [5] (the remaining clause deals with claims for awards)

        “…The Commission shall not hear claims arising from the cost of military operations, preparing for military operations, or the use of force, except to the extent that such claims involve violations of international humanitarian law.”

        However, Ethiopia made the ius ad bellum (Laws of War) claim to the EECC. And Eritrea argued that:

        ” The Claims Commission had no jurisdiction to entertain Ethiopia’s ius ad bellum claims because this issue had been assigned to another body. Moreover, the Commission’s mandate under Article 5 must be construed so as to be in harmony with the overall institutional structure established by the Agreement. In this regard, the Parties gave two other institutions clear and expansive mandates regarding events that occurred before the outbreak of the armed conflict. It is difficult to see how this Commission could inquire into and pass judgment regarding events prior to 6 May 1998 without running afoul of the mandates of these other bodies.”

        And in the classic case of interfering with the proceeding, it was not only that the proper body that was tasked to make such determination had been prevented from materializing, but also the EECC had, in a gross travesty of justice, decided the matter by giving the flimsy excuse that since Article 3 could only have ascertained factual determination and not legal responsiblity, it could be interpreted that [it] is the only body that could take decision in response to Ethiopia’s Jus ad bellum contention.

        The problem was however, if such interpretation was shared by the drafters of the Algiers Agreement, the parties would have chosen arbiters qualified to do the investigation determination of Jus ad bellum. None of the arbiters involved in EECC the were qualified in that area of International Law.

        ========================================================

        Against the backdrop of the above realities, it is highly dubious to believe in the validity of the EECC’s finding of guilt, but the final and binding nature of the agreement is one that has lead Eritrea to accept it. Not the fact as you claim that it didn’t protest the matter at the time. It did.

        Now compare this to how the TPLF prevaricated and finally run away from its commitment to honor the EEBC. It was indeed a very dishonorable act of utter trampling of the rule of law by the same powers that rammed the above dubious decision that also gave TPLF the cover to get away with what it did.

        But the saddest part is that to see Eritreans, albeit distressed by political hardship at home, come back to accept such flawed proceedings that are clearly designed to help TPLF and its sponsors to run away from their responsibility of causing the death and detraction of the war and holding peace hostage thereafter.

        Cheeres

  • Araya

    Serray, the two countries went to all-out war because they couldn’t sit down and dialog. After all the loss of human life and the distraction of properties and after the court has rendered its verdict, why in the world would you want to dialog? True, you have to talk to implement the judgment of the court but the Ethiopians wanted to talk from the border demarcation to use of port. They want open ended dialog. Do you know what they mean by that? You can oppose the government of Eritrea all you want but when you opposed the truth and what is right, you lose that credibility that eluded your beloved dead opposition. If there to be dialog, let the TPLF leave Badime and then Eritrea can dialog ONLY ABOUT THE BORDER! First then we can talk about the rest. What is so hard to understand that.
    Serray, if your TPLF cannot respect what they have signed in front of the world what makes you a dialog behind closed doors it would? The idea of the dialog is simply to void the verdict of the international court. Once you open a dialog on what is already verdict rendered, then, the judgment of the court is void and annulled.
    Sometimes, open your blind even if Exculpates and exonerates PIA . .

  • haile

    Serray and Hayat

    In this latest response, it appears that we are dealing with two different arguments, one from each of you.

    According to Hayat, since I mentioned “Badime is one such case” this amounts to an “obsession” about Badime and “lack of knowledge” as to the remaining contentious aspects of the matter. And hence my arguments allegedly have no merit.

    According to Serray, since I am “rejecting” EECC and only “accepting” EEBC, I therefore am in s state of self contradiction, hence my arguments allegedly have no merit.

    For no particular reason, let me start with Hayat’s conclusion.

    Hayat – Let’s, for the sake of pure speculation, assume that Ethiopia and Eritrea would agree to re-draw their internationally recognized boundary (one that has been done and dusted at such unbelievable cost to both sides) and somehow revert to the colonial era treaties that are essentially defunct and legally no longer applicable. Having convinced inl. bodies to consider their arguments that are based on a legally expired treaties, I would assume Eritrea would ask for the return of the areas around Tsorona and environs that has always been Eritrean and Ethiopia would ask for the return of Erob and environs, that have always been Ethiopian.

    The problem is however, such can only be achieved as a gesture of good will and fraternity of both sides independently. There is no inl. legal instrument that can apply now. Both parties have made a historic agreement, that have lead to the delimitation of the Ethio-Eritrea boundary. This boundary is now official. It has been duly registered at the UN Cartographic unit as the political map baundary of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Such has been the legal situation since a decade ago.

    The issue now is that of the occupation of neighboring state’s territory by Ethiopia. How does that lead to any kind of rapprochement. The ‘occupation’ is a legally ascertained fact, too late to reverse the process of delimiting the boundary all over again. Even if you were to consider doing so, you can only rely on the current and working map that is recognized internationally, the map of 2002. The legal power of any other treaty has been destroyed effectively following EEBC’s completion of its mandate. Here is where things are at…

    Serray

    Eritrea has accepted the EECC as part and parcel of the Final and Binding settlement. Eritrea and Eritreans also do not believe on its finding of “start of the war” hence reject it beyond the express legal stipulations that it warrants, the payment to Ethiopia of $160 million. Ethiopia was also found guilty of “war crimes” and rejects it beyond the express legal stipulations that is payment of $150 million to Eritrea. The case has of no value outside of the legal parameters. You need to convince people to believe in it if you wish to use it for political motives. But that is meaningless in legal terms. The EEBC itself has aspects not so believed by the recipients, yet it stands as the only legally recognized instrument in the intl. stage.

    The phenomenon of not believing in a judgement is not new. It happens in many scenarios. However, even TPLF had long figured that it is useless for any practical purpose to use the judgement for anything. Yes you can start a political momentum around it and outside of its legal instrumentation, but you’re on your own to convince the Eritrean people that Eritrea started the war based on a finding that was neither mandated to do so, nor had any means to do so. Eritrean understand we had no choice but accept its legal parameters, consistent to owr acceptance of EEBC. But that doesn’t mean we believe on it, much less consider it actionable information. The EECC case is just as dead too. No legal basis to invoking it, as its limitations were made clear.

    Hence there is no conflict in accepting a judgement and wholly refusing to believe in it, without which it is impossible to spin it for any meaningful political advantage. So, I am not refusing to accept it, rather I totally reject it in spirit and so do most of Eritrean people.

    many examples can be cited to make the point that such case scenarios were perfectly normal…but no point wasting your time. The conflict really is in your side where in you are trying to hail the EECC and try to counter the EEBC that is practically undoable due to its becoming the official UN document.

    • Serray

      Selamat Haile,

      I will leave to hayat to address your double take of no dialog and the solution to tserona and irob “can only be achieved as a gesture of good will and fraternity of both sides independently”. Breaking up is breaking up, period. If we go by yours and the regime’s no dialog demand, there is no “gesture of goodwill” or “fraternity of both sides”.

      Back to me, Haile, the findings of the EECC is based on evidence; not on a whim or clever talk. About the EECC not having a mandate, show me in the decision that the parties opposed this aspect of the mandate (by the way, I am searching for the article showing iasias’s accepting the EECC decision unequivocally, to make a point about your monday night quarterbacking is just that). What is fascinating is why you come up with one argument after another to deny the origins of a war whose conclusion you believe will set eritrea free. You said, “The case has of no value outside of the legal parameters”. No, Haile, it does; the regime used the border war it ignited to kill eritrea. How come you can’t see that? How come you replace your tinfer imber tel eya whimsical view when what is at issue is the very excuse isaias used to bring back dark ages to eritrea?

      Next time you are tempted to criticize the opposition for lack of vision or principle, remember you are the one who built a pedestal to worship the chain isaias used to tie the eritrean people – the border conflict. You are a perfect example why the opposition is in disarray. The court handles you a fact that helps you understand what the regime used to suspend the constitution, muzzle the nation and turn you brothers and sisters into slaves; and what do you do; dig up old articles and come up with lame arguments to exonerate the regime. Your problem, just like the opposition you never get tired of putting down, is your inability to reevaluate. You once wrongfully thought the woyanes started the war and now you are sticking to it because, for you, nothing is more important than being consistent, even if it means consistently wrong. When I picture what is wrong with the opposition, you come to mind; you want to solve a problem with one hand willingly tied behind your back. It would have been bad enough if you were just wrong on who started the war, but you also believe that its successful resolution according to the regime’s wishes will solve our problem.

    • Hayat Adem

      Haile, by the same logic of yours, can you also accuse Eritrea of occupying Ethiopia’s sovereign territory? I will explain what I mean by this later; let me show you Haile why you should reconsider you Badime and demarcation views.
      I’ve read the EEBC decision repeatedly. It acknowledges that Badme had been administered under Tigray jurisdiction for the last 35+ years up to the ruling time. The only reason the EEBC decided to put it inside Eritrean border was because the burden of proof was applied against the Ethiopia. Since the colonial maps put it outside Ethiopia and Ethiopia had failed to provide uninterrupted evidence of effective control beyond 35 years, the EEBC chose to align its decision with the maps, concluding Ethiopian claim of effective administration to be inadequate. The ruling over Badime has nothing to do with the recent Ethio-Eritrean war. There is no doubt that Badime was under the control of Ethiopians until PFDJ started the war by invading it. Fast-forward, the delimitation decision makes it clear Badime is within Eritrea. However, delimitation is a first phase. The next phase is demarcation which did not happen yet. Territories are settled and rested if only go through that phase of demarcation and physical transaction of territories. All that did not happen. It is correct to accuse Weyane of not agreeing to demarcate. But, it is premature to accuse it of occupying Eritrea territory based on delimitation rulings. If you accuse Weyane of occupying Eritrea as it stands now, you will end up accusing PFDJ of occupyng Ethiopian territories because based on the same delimitation logic, PFDJ is sitting on the Tsorena villages which were given to Ethiopia.
      Let’s now see the politics of it. I have made my analysis that assures me that in terms of territory, nearly the same size of landmass will have to change hands from both sides should the EEBC delimitation decision be mirrored as is in the demarcation. In terms of population size, slightly more Eritreans will be impacted during territorial transfer. The reason why Badime has become important is because it was the flash point of the clash. PFDJ does not want to answer for starting the war. It thinks getting Badime is a sin-wash certificate. Not only that Badime is a shield for PFDJ to escape accountability for the start of the war but also it thinks it can use it resource weapon to weaken the WEyane. Ethiopia is very hesitant to let it go for the same reason: they don’t want to supply PFDJ with political ammunition. Moreover they think it would be suicidal for them domestically, remembering how they mobilized their people during the start of the war to defend Badime. So now, Badime is an item of zero sum for both sides.
      I found some of your reasoning very weak. For example, you always say, if demarcation was done, PFDJ would have no more excuse. I’m at loss as to how you could miss this…Excuses don’t have to be or look valid. If a group like PFDJ finds a good excuse, it will use them. If not it will bring up any less-good excuses. It is not going to declare “now I have run out of good excuses…time to throw towel.” How do you explain the issue of G-15? Do you think that can be justified even in a remotely stretch with the border issue? Can PFDJ convince, or even confuse, any Eritrean on that? The hell no! But PFDJ will do such things because it can and it has to do them in order to continue ruling. People now know enough about the nature of our rulers. There are only three reactions resenting people can do: vote, voice and exit. That we’re witnessing! PFDJ, too, is doing what it does best. The only question that seemed logical here is: are we doing what we can in defense of our nation and people?

    • haile

      Selamat Serray and Hayat

      Serray – in all fairness, you went all rhetorical on me in your latest entry. Since we are in the legal turf here, zban higi eleka alekhu :-)

      Seriously though, please try to see my point. There are two aspects to this, the first and obligatory being the legal instrumentation duly set up around this whole conflict. And the second is the rhetorical possibilities that one can spin out of them to peruse their own agenda. The latter is essentially a toss up, and depend on the results of your own leg work to rally people around it.

      Eritrea’s position as regards the the EECC and EEBC is simple. Regardless of its liking or disliking of this or that aspect of it, it stands to honor its full and unhindered implementation as per its final and binding clause. This doesn’t alter the fact that we have undemocratic government on one hand and foreign occupation on the other. I am not under the illusion that by unscrupulously marrying both, one can escape damaging long term ramifications.

      A prudent opposition would seek to separate this two issues, so as to reassure the people that it remains faithful to the nation but objects its current system of governance. What we ended up with was a shameful act of colluding with a flagrant violation of our sovereignty, exposing the process of struggle to a hopeless case of liable in high treason, there by leaving it high and dry. You can’t fight for a nation by taking a stand decidedly against the nation. That I am afraid at the heart of the contradiction that scuttled the prospects of meaningful progress.

      The opposition failed to reflect popular sentiments, hence it died as one would expect it to do under such circumstances. No surprises there, straightforward and obvious. If TPLF’s success depended solely on the support of the non-Tigrayan people of Ethiopia, I doubt that it would have been here today. You can’t do without sentiments, not my fault, not your’s, not Hayat’s – just the way things are set up to be. My response to Hayat would dwell on the illegality of the acts of TPLF and how that catapulted it to engage in a damning miscalculations.

      Hayat –

      In a rather refreshing read, you have presented ‘full substance no rhetoric’ response. Mindful of my limitations to influence things on the ground, I would give my views on most of the points that you raised. I believe most of the points you raised would, under normal circumstances, warrant a full answer in per sentence based, it was that rich:-)

      We can’t accuse Eritrea for occupying any part of Ethiopia as it is evidently imposed. It was imposed due to woyane’s belated reneging on the physical emplacement of pillars.

      According to the EEBC’s directive and upheld by international law;

      “…33. The Commission must conclude by recalling that the line of the boundary was legally and finally determined by its Delimitation Decision of 13 April 2002. Though undemarcated, this line is binding upon both Parties, subject only to the minor qualifications expressed in the Delimitation Decision, unless they agree otherwise. Conduct inconsistent with this boundary line is unlawful.”

      Demarcation, under the legal definition of the EEBC and the powers vested on it, only involves the physical emplacement of markers/pillars on the ground. The process had been started in sector east but later abandoned and completed using alternative method, that was also used to demarcate the Iraq-Kuwait boundary, that of by co-ordinates. Such was undertaken and hence the EEBC’s mandate was discharged. The result was highly accurate definition of the boundary line, that is now a working and the only legal instrument at the UN.

      Please read, even skim through the attached, to witness the dramatic and futile acts of TPLF at a very late stage of the works. It was too late to change anything though.

      http://dehai.org/demarcation-watch/eebc/EEBC-President-Report-to-UN-16.pdf

      The argument that the border has not been demarcated is no longer valid. The issue is nothing more than the mere emplacement of pillars, the specific location which has already been determined and deposited as the official boundary line of our two sisterly countries. Please try to appreciate that the line ca’t be altered in a simple stroke. It would require a far complicated processes for doing so. Yes, for normalization and eventual open borders, but this must not be at the expense of trampling upon the rule of law.

      The case now is that of Ethiopia moving out of such places that are undisputed Eritrean territories. Please read the link above to really appreciate that TPLF was beating a dead horse, where by the only way of bringing it to life would have been the overthrow of central government in Eritrea and throwing the nation into chaos. Its determined effort to that effect over the last decade and half can’t be erased from history books (at least up to now).

      This brings me to the possibility for the future. I believe Eritrea’s internal dynamics would be the best pacemaker of what would unfold into the future. Sadly, the diaspora political space has been closed off due to opposing and extreme positions. Trust has been the main causality and hence unlikely to mount a credible opposition at least in the foreseeable future.

      • haile

        Just a clarification for Serray: please note that when I refer to “treason” I am attempting to convey a legal wording. An act of collaboration with a war time adversary – as would be understood in conventional sense. It is an offence.

        • Serray

          Selamat Haile,

          Let me apologize before hand if I sound rhetoric again…but what I want you to accept is a legal decision as written by five very comptent judges after being argued by an army of lawyers. Your resistence to accept this decision is mindboggling to me. If we had a democratic government in 1998 and the war was ignited because, as some of you claim, of a built up of skirmishes or tplf issuing a map that incorporated a chunk of eritrean land, I would have accepted the excuse and moved on. But the border was ignited to shelve the constitution and take eritrea to a dark chapter. When you try to not notice this beginning of things going to hell and make it just a legal argument or, as you at times do, that holding the regime responsible for igniting the war is tantamount to condemning the nation, I have to stop you. I have read enough comments from you that it is hard for me to believe that the connection I am making between the war and direction our nation heading since, is lost in you.

          Let me be clear how strongly I feel about connecting badme to isaias; if we don’t held isaias responsible for igniting the war, our survival as nation or, at least, as a decent nation is doubtful. No nation that pretends not to notice the cause of its trip to hell deserves to exist. In my book, only isaias and the people who help him ignite the war should fight not to have EECC decision stick; the rest of us in the opposition should make it our job to make this point clear to the eritrean people. I think it is disservice to ghedli and to those who died during badme war to deny that the eritrean regime led by isaias ignited the war that took the nation to hell.

  • haile

    Selam Serray

    (^Actually, I suppose Hayat’s argument may also be similar to your’s, but she can also present her’s separately. I don’t mind to engage both fronts simultaneously. lomi Ghedli qedem Ghedli :-))

    Let me outline my response in the order of: Your misconception, Your flawed assumption and Your untenable stand.

    Your misconception:

    You say that the regime is already exposed and no new benefits would be driven to that effect by implementing the demarcation. The key misconception in that belief is the fundamental failure to draw the distinction between “being exposed” and “action taken based on such knowledge”.

    The regime was exposed long time ago. The regime was exposed in all the intl. arena. The world media has nothing to say but damning reports. Sanctions, embargo, mass migration, defections, you name it. This has been the case for the last [almost] decade and half.

    Now how did the Eritrean people and specially the diaspora reacted? What actions did they take? Media institutions were harangued by thousands of protesters in their cities, not in support of their reporting but for the opposite. No single community organization ended its support of the regime (only the people who questioned have been ejected, isolated and identified as enemy collaborators). Many influential figures who withdrew their support to the regime elected to remain silent. The who defected declined to join the opposition to the regime. Those who went through so much to escape the regime either remained silent or went on to support it.

    In a decade and half, the opposition failed to make any in-roads, divided, weak without a clue how to respond to any event. Yes, a decade and a half is a very long time indeed. Long enough to convince someone that the people may never act any differently under the current set of arguments.

    It would be unbelievable for any opposition to have it so cushioned, such a self evident argument, such total support of external actors, yet completely paralized from making any meaningful strides. Although I have no reason to believe that the intl. wrath coming upon the regime has anything to do with them, they sure like to claim trophy. The intl. community passed sanction resolutions that didn’t even mention human rights or constitution or release of prisoners. No verifiable (other than vague association) evidence exists to show that they achieved anything anywhere. Wikileaks would attest to you that the 2% plan had long been hatched on a different set of considerations.

    Despite TPLF’s lending of huge support, it [the TPLF] have finally derisively dismissed the opposition as clueless, after the Jan. 21 events. All this boils down to the fact that they didn’t gain popular support or put it in another way, yes the regime is exposed but that means nothing when the border issue has effectively arrested the masses from acting, based on the information made available. Most Eritreans are well aware of the regime’s incompetency, yet recognize the dangers represented by the current set up of the organized vocal opposition. The choices were made simpler, sit it out and at least preserve the nation or lend them a hand for the country’s certain destruction.

    There lies your main misconception that you perceive that exposing the regime would have any value, without such a situation being translated into action. A decade and a half, and no Eritrean can tell you who the opposition is or who it is lead by. How much do I need to prove the obvious?

    Your flawed assumptions

    Your zero probability assumption is flawed at best. History doesn’t support it. You can refer to world history or EPLF/TPLF conflict history to disprove your assertions. In a world of politics, nothing is certain and the probability of zero is inversely certain. I am confident that you don’t possess any valid evidence, other than your educated guess to come up with such determination of TPLF will never settle the issue with PFDJ. Consider you are back in time and space, and are standing in Awassa, what would have the probability of TPLF saying IA may be a better option to Eritrean diaspora opposition? Hence, you are basing in a flawed assumption.

    Your untenable stand

    Your cost benefit analysis is wholly devoid of facts as to the ‘full’ cost or the ‘full’ analysis. You can’t simply measure land plots and number of families affected to arrive at something that is becoming to be the defining history of the nation. Aside, the technical nightmare of unraveling an internationally cemented deal following a tragic war, it would be deeply incredulous to assume that populations would not be resettled and overriding issues don’t necessitate that at times. Some countries move people to make way to agricultural projects and other grand designs! What is wrong for this to happen for the sake of peace, fraternity and enjoyment of the good things in life by generations to come? Your stand in this regard also is totally untenable and its appeal is very evident as I described on the first sub-heading.

    • Serray

      Selamat Haile,

      If and when change comes to eritrea, it is most likely from inside. Meaning, the role of the diaspora in bringing change is minimal. Your “my misconception” is based on the wrong assumption that the sun rises or sets with the diaspora. Don’t get me wrong, the diaspora has a role to play, but the last 15 years showed that, to dislodge the regime, it will take more than yelling at it from a distance. Your obsessive and critical view of the opposition made you neglect the role the eritrea people should play in the fight for their own liberation. I know you don’t think so, but you are a typical opposition; you expect the “other opposition” to pay the price to correct what you clearly see as wrong. The problem is, the “other opposition” is not going to risk their lives while you reserve the right to just yell at them. Between you and the other diaspora based opposition, there is no hope of ever delivering the crushing blow necessary to knock the regime off. By a simple process of elimination, that blow need to come from the people who are the subject of the regime’s brutal rule.

      That brings me to what is holding the people from delivering the crushing blow. If we go by your logic, it is the opposition and the diaspora; but the reality is the brutality, inhumanity, of shaebia. You said, “Most Eritreans are well aware of the regime’s incompetency, yet recognize the dangers represented by the current set up of the organized vocal opposition. The choices were made simpler, sit it out and at least preserve the nation or lend them a hand for the country’s certain destruction.”

      Wrong, the reason people don’t revolt is because the regime rules eritrea with such unbelievable repression that the momentum needed to ignite a revolt has not yet being achieved. As forto showed,though, it is not going be like that forever. One day, a hungry man who can not feed his family, a slave in uniform or a woman who is running from a rapist will stop on her tracks and decide it is better to die like a human being that live like this…and our unknown future will come into existence regardless of the border.

      Your claim that the border demarcation will introduce a change is also false; the regime is what it is and it is not going to change its nature because of demarcation. You guys suffer from one crippling misconception: that the border conflict is imposed. If you discard that ridiculous and transparently bogus assumption, your conclusion will line up with reality. You are wrong on how change will come to eritrea because you are wrong on how we got there in the first place.

      My assumption of zero probability of “demarcation without a dialog when the woyanes are in power” is based on the zero occurrence in the past dozen years and, yes, my reading of the woyanes. Since you believe that it can happen (demarcation without a dialog), tell us on what you based your conclusion. Let me repeat what I said above, get rid of that stupid assumption (that the border conflict is imposed us), and you will see the light. In prison there are two kinds of guilty people: those who accept their fate and those who pretend they are innocent. Prison is a weird place; it can play tricks on you mind. The latter eventually believe their own lie and start to wait for justice that will never come…and most go insane. The regime (and you) should own the EECC as well as you do the EEBC for your own sanity. Woyanes will never give you the satisfaction of being innocent when a court of law said you are guilty of igniting a war. Most importantly, once you do that, the illusion that you can force demarcation without dialog will go away. By the way, what is the probability of demarcation without a dialog? I insist, because you believe it is the only way to proceed. So let me repeat the question, what is the chance that what you believe will happen while woyanes are in power? Take a chance, give me probability of success, please. The worst I can do is ridicule your stat or be shocked that you push, as a matter of principle (and want to push the opposition to follow suit) for something you give such a low probability of success.

      On the last point, you can’t have it both ways. If you accept demarcation without a dialog, there is no mutually beneficial exchanges with the ethiopians. You accept what you lost and move on. You make it sound like the displacement of people because you lost the land they lived is a good thing. A net lose is a net lose; you can’t put a nice twist to it by mentioning agricultural projects and stuff like that…”a judge gave me 20 years because the woman I was making love to was screaming and I twisted and broke he arms”. My question was clear, if you lose people and land, do you still stick to your “no dialog” position… or would you negotiate to save some? Your answer is no answer at all. I noticed you didn’t answer any of the issues hayat or I raised; you just twisted our views.

      Finally, the EEBC allows for the parties to make adjustments without negating the decision if they both agree. The reason isaias is against dialog is not because he is afraid the EEBC will be negated, it is because the puppet is afraid to meet the the eyes of the puppet master.

      • http://awate Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Serray,

        When you encircled him by your merciless argument where there is not exit but repeating the same thing as taurret syndrome patient do, we are observing gasps of tittering in his utterance thereby eliciting spasmodic laugh at the receiving end (the readers). Your argument is very strategic with multiple tactics that suffocate the opposite his arguments, very facinating to watch. keep to hammer the idea of sitting on the table to bring peace. When they can’t offer ideas for solution they ramble around the bush.

        • http://awate Amanuel Hidrat

          moderater,

          Please correct to read as “…that suffocate the opposite and that is his argument.

      • haile

        Selamat Serray and Hayat

        (*Just as a side note, we obviously won’t be able to change each other’s belief and hence when we lower our expectations in that regard there is more room for reasoned and measured exchange. Some studies estimate that on average, online discussants would end up calling each other Nazi or some thing similar within the space of less than ten exchanges. My take in this regard is that a realistically lowered expectation of our ability to change core beliefs would likely surmount the limits imposed by the above mentioned theory. At the same time it would help individuals like Aman to contemplate alternative approaches to their tired old trade mark of wasting everyone’s time:)

        I have concluded that both of you, Serray and Hayat, are pursuing similar core argument in essence, and hence would address it together (feel free to object if you think otherwise).

        The opposition vs the diaspora

        It true that the opposition is is defunct and beyond repair. However, the diaspora is wholly a different entity. The latter has been critical at every level of supporting the regime, the nation and the Eritrean people. Its political, financial and organizational assets are one of (if not the only) ‘the’ key determinant factors of of maintaining the status quo. This was partially necessitated by the apparent threat being callously shifted against the nation and people than against oppression and legitimacy. If you agree that without the diaspora support, the regime wouldn’t have had a fighting chance, then you would appreciate the tremendous power it wields. Suffice to consider the economic component alone. Here is why the diaspora is unlikely to back down from the current set up:

        “The Eritrea Ethiopia boundary has been formally delimited. The new boundary has been internationally recognized, and is deposited at the UN and hence there is no chance of extracting that new map from the UN and re-drawing it. It is a recognized boundary, that replaces all other previous treaties and agreements. Eritrean and Ethiopian border line is a foregone conclusion and NOBODY has the slightest power of changing it. Not Eritrea, not Ethiopia not the UN itself. Both governments have inked their marks at the dotted line and signed to it that it would be the final and binding treaty for generations to come.

        Now, TPLF is currently stationed in areas outside of Ethiopia’s internationally recognized boundary. That is called incursion into undisputed Eritrean Territory. The village is Badema is one case. Unless for reasons of treason, no one would countenance the occupation of parts of his/country by foreign occupying force.”

        The above realty doesn’t lend itself to supporting an opposition that is incriminated in treason. Hence the status quo.

        Let’s not wast our time in woyane’s capability to overrun Eritrea. Only a fool would believe that. So what would be the alternative? Regime Change? Diplomatic and Political mischief, propoganda war? … it all failed gain traction. Let me give one example of such a mischief – Eritrea ignited the war!

        It is about time that this ruse is blasted head on. The EECC has made a determination as to who started the war, despite:

        1) It was not mandated to do so by the provisions of Article [5] of the Algiers Agreement.

        2) It did not have the facility nor time allowance in its remit to cover the full duration of the conflict. Only from May 12, 1988 – Sept. 2000

        3) It didn’t use any of the relevant evidences that predated its remit time frame.

        Christine Gray, Professor of International Law, University of Cambridge has written to the Oxford Journal’s European Journal of International Law, outlining in detail how a politically motivated miscarriage of justice has been committed against Eritrea:

        Read: http://ejil.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/4/699.full

        But why. Why did the EECC went beyond its mandate, brief and remit to include such a determination that fly in the face of incontrovertible evidences that TPLF started, escalated and committed grave crimes against humanity in regards to the Eritrea Ethiopia conflict?

        It was the same reason that the UN was so bothered by Eritrea’s transport of plane loads of armaments to al-shabab during the latter’s conflict with Kenya, that it had to sanction Eritrea! If only they could have convinced the Kenyans to hold on to that long enough!!! :-)

        The EECC’s illegal tampering outside its brief was designed to cover up the woyane and its handlers of their crimes against the innocent Eritrean people. That was the start, the rest … we all know.

        In reality however, Eritrea and Eritreans reject the politically motivated and unlawful tampering with the due process, yet they have accepted the strict legal instrument in that regard and the balance of $10 million dollars allocated to Ethiopia has been probably long settled. Case closed. No one, including woyane can do anything about that now. It is a closed case. IA didn’t start the war, the TPLF did. And that is a fact in the mind of every honest Eritrean. And nothing matters in legal sense to bring a dead and closed issue.

        Hence, the Ethio-Eritrea border is an internationally recognized one. TPLF has its forces inside our territory, and realities and handlers may dictate how the stalmate would be maintained. But TPLF bares full responsibility.

        • haile

          **$10 million when you subtract Eritrea’s 150 million award from Ethiopia’s 160 million award.

          • Serray

            Selamat Haile,

            Let us promise we don’t call each other nazis.

            We have the EECC and an article in European Journal. Which one to believe? If you search long enough, you will find an article about anything – if you don’t care about the authority of the author. Haile, EECC decision is the final authority as to which country started the war and what damages each country is liable. Period. Isaias accepted the decision in matter of a couple of days. With all due respect to the professor, the EECC, just like the EEBC, gets the last word. It is funny, though, how you make the EEBC decision like it is written in stone but the EECC, subject to the whims of some professor. By the way, how come the regime and its highly paid lawyers didn’t raise the same issue at that time? How come there is no record in the decision that one party opposed the authority of the EECC to decide on the origins of the war? You didn’t blasted anything, you just tried to replace a legal decision with your unsubstantiated and unsupported views.

            Let me put your “my source is better than an international court of law” mentality into perspective. You said the support of the diaspora is critical to the regime; meaning, if the diaspora demanded the end of oppression with one united voice, the regime might comply given the diaspora’s financial muscle. You are one of the diaspora; I might even add, one of the better informed ones; and yet, let alone lending your voice, you are arguing with us that the words of one reporter or one professor is better than a decision of a court of law that held the regime responsible for igniting a war it is now using to confuse and milk the diaspora. If you fail to grasp the tragic position you hold in facilitating the repression and exploitation of your fellow countrymen, what chance is there for the diaspora to speak in one voice against oppression.

            You position on badme is what makes it possible for the regime to be as cruel as it wants to be and for the diaspora to remain in slumber. And as long as there are people who let their hatred of the neighbor’s government dominate their views instead of the suffering of their brothers, the diaspora will remain nothing more than muzzled tourist….and the burden of lifting the oppression will remain 100 percent on the oppressed.

            You still hasn’t aswered our question.

        • Hayat Adem

          Thanks a lot, Haile. You finally are able to spit it out. Now, I know you have been talking about Badime when you were all the time mentioning about Weyane’s occupation of Eritrean territory. The argument point with you about the “sovereign Eritrean land occupied by Weyane” is zeroed and locked at Badime. Now, every time you want to talk about the occupied Eritrean territory in the future, please specify it as such so that you don’t confuse readers as if you were talking about an unknown part or land of Eritrea. Now we know it is Badime you obsessively view as very fiercely urgent of an agenda for Eritreans to address top-first before anything else. Badime is locked for discussion and to be continued…

    • Hayat Adem

      I agree with everything Serray said.
      And Haile, you said this: “Some countries move people to make way to agricultural projects and other grand designs! What is wrong for this to happen for the sake of peace, fraternity and enjoyment of the good things in life by generations to come?”
      What is wrong is: you don’t opt or call for more loss and sacrifice if the other-side is ready without those. If the other-side is imposing conditions that demand more from your-side and you have no means of countering or containing that, then the above quotation may make sense. But that is not the case here. If you really care for peace, fraternity and enjoyment of good life of your people, then stand for demobilization and dialogue, not demarcation that would possibly make Eritrea lose more. And please Haile, answer questions directly and say you have no answer if that is the case. Since your super urgent priority is demarcation, you should be able to give us a balance sheet of what is to be gained and lost.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Eritrea is a part of a great old history, defined by cololonizers and demands dictatorship by the very nature of the land. Dictatorship is the result of abonrmality in a unique socity. Ethiopia was under a communist dictatroship during mengistu time. When the western lost for russian communitst their startegsic region, ethiopians must suffer under communist dictatership just to fullfil the interst of the great russian With the help of few derg members at least at the beginning. A collonel who was unheeard before came to Power after a king was put to prison, and two presidents Aman and Teferi Bente in a very short period of time. The brutality of the super Power is always known. But the forcing communism on such religious and conservative People in such short time which led to the massacar of million People is a fact one has to know the place we have in the mind of the world supper popwers. There is no other system which gives priority to forgein interest or few Groups over the rest of the nation’s People. Ethiopia is now under one ethnic based dictatorship With liberal maraket policy which benefites only tigrayans and any body who is wllowed to join them after their premises.

    So what forced Eritrea to be under dictatorship?

    Is only dictator can keep Eritrea United?

    Can elf and eplf followers cooexist after isaya is removed`?

    Elf is supported by the Arabs. Does the non elf parties get support from Ethiopia?

    Does Eritrea divide itself to accomodiate the two eritrean Power houses?

    Isyas holds eplf as polarized as possible With the cooexistance of Eritrea and ethiopia to staty in Power, can the New leaders of eplf after isayas removed off course have a better solution for the coexitense of ethiopia and Eritrea?

    These questions must be raised now because no beody is killed or sent to prison for raising these quesitons now.

    Remember if Eritrea was not sanctioned, it was not isayas who goes to cario. Instead Morsi who arrieves at Assab to emphasize his collonial rules over africa still is intact.

    This is not to make esacpe goat for isayas. this is to show how eritreans exposed to this uniqe world strategical region. Eritrea is cut like a precious strategical Diamond by colonialist. To keep this Diamond demands a lot Manpower and wealth than what Eritrea aford now.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Tamrat,

      are you the one who is saying “To keep this Diamond demands a lot Manpower and wealth than what Eritrea afford now.”? Now you came with new reason to keep your ego alive.My friend Tamrat in this case what should be the solution? haaaaa.

      you see at the end of the day all natural resources belong to god. as an individual I born and I will go back to where no materials world is important. no one owns anything. everything is temporary. we have been given all the wealth for us to distribute it equally, to work for perfection. yet, nothing remains the same. years are not far when everything in this world goes our of nationalism and become international. you can imagine now how much near is to see Ethiopia and Eritrean having the same interest and go as two nations but one people till that nationalism lose it’s position. but that all will be done when people have freedom. no force applied but willingness, no competition but cooperation etc.

      Ethiopia is diamond too. be part of the people who want to use their diamond equally what belongs to them and equally what belongs to them and others (like Blue Nile). and if all of us work in our nations, we can say we have accomplished what we want as what the other needs from the the other gets it without any war.

      • Tamrat Tamrat

        Hi Kokeb,

        I dont think u understand the ter ‘diamond’. The Colonialist itali curved and cut Eritrea from top to bottom to secure red sea for itself regardless the Peoples who live on it. This is makes Eritrea the dimond of international Strategic place. Like a Construction of high way the border Divides families and neigbours in to two. It was not long time afar is divided in to twol, to be exact 1998 With war and deployment of 200 thousand soldiers. This is not Natural, i hope you agree on this one. Only colonialist or supper Power makes a country like Eritrea whic is curved like a piece of cake. Democracy can not keep this unatural phenomena. In Democracy People demand the Natural thing. My questions above focuses; can the NeXT leaders keep this unique land and sea unite With democracy while the Arabs are trying hard to seal 100% read sea under arab Control, Egypt With its old Colonial policy use civil unrest as a Method to keep People as back ward as possible, familes separeted in to two for the sake of the nations Eritrea and ethiopia, elf tries to unite Eritrea based on its arab affiliation while eplf on its orthodox christianity, etc. Kokeb, this is the right time put everything on the discussion tabel at least outside of Eritrea. After isayas is gone this discussion will cost a large number of lifes. You can not impose Democracy on a nation the day isayas relinquish his Power. We as for Democracy wont be a gurantee that we exercise it the way it is intended when we get the opportunity. A good example we the eri-ethio diaspora.

  • F.M.

    Hi Again Haile. More educational stuff my friends send my way… they think at the heart of ‘Ethie’ n ‘Egy’ divide may lie this…. here is a cliche “We can not solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. If you are on twitter, you may find this interesting to follow.

    http://www.africaontheblog.com/the-north-africa-and-sub-saharan-africa-divide-twitter-discussion/#comment-6384

  • F.M.

    Hi Haile,

    Since we both love YouTube. Here is another to show Egypt is too busy with its domestic issues. All the threat directed at Ethiopia is more about this…. [watch]

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JGqs9gSnJho&feature=relmfu

    • haile

      nice link F.M. thanks

      I thought the guy was going to pull a semi-automatic or something when he reached down. I was surprised that he pulled a soft slipper shoe that he was wearing :-)

  • Kaddis

    Haile –
    “The dam is located close to the Sudanese border. The Eritrean regime has extensive influence in the Sudan, Darfur and many of the factions there. The Red Sea…we don’t even need to get there. Security and intelligence relationship with Egypt in many areas is another. Eritrea is also holding down the biggest part of the Ethiopian military, and many networking with armed Ethiopian groups…would this do for starters?”

    Haile – you rely a lot on your past knowledge –not the current one. Don’t you think all the above dirty tricks are already tried by Shabia and failed. Are you listing the failed old tricks of Shabia which got your country sanctioned as a prize? Egypt has far more influence than Eritrea on Sudan but so far Woyane worked hard to get Sudan’s backing by providing peacekeeping, being an impartial mediator, trade and more or less a respectable neighbor.

    All your arguments doesn’t make sense because they are based on trying to play victim on the border issue and trying to find an entry point for Eritrea. Eritrea is at its weakest and would not risk of taking heat for no one and risk of losing its viability like in the border war.

    • haile

      Kaddis –

      Which statement is exactly a “past knowledge”?

      – That the dam is built close to the Sudanese border?

      – That the Eritrean regime has extensive influence in the Sudan, Darfur and many of the factions there? Only as we speak, some Darfur rebels are approaching Asmara for logistics and M Atta Sudanese Chief of intelligence is in Asmara.

      -That the Red Sea being a strategic location?

      -That Eritrea-Egypt intelligence cooperation? Many Eritreans were deported to Eritrea and refugees there can tell you.

      – That Eritrea is also holding down the biggest part of the Ethiopian military? The biggest part of Ethiopian army is in the Ethio-Eritrea border as we speak.

      -That there is networking with armed Ethiopian groups? Are you sure about this?

      Let’s face it, if some one is holding someone else’ territory in violation of inl. law the courts are very clear as to who is a victim and who is the villain. The Eritrean people are the victims and woyane and PFDJ are the villains. Because woyane is holding Eritrean land not PFDJ land. No need to be cynical about my motives, it is all above the table. Eritrea must play in the Nile issue from point of view of its own interest, the demarcation of the stalled border issue. Ethiopia is in the Nile issue for its interest, Egypt is in the issue for its interests and so should be Eritrea.

      Why does that bother you? Don’t you like what the Bible says “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Jesus, date/year unknown).

      • haile

        by the way, why would PFDJ try to get the border resolved? That will put the Eritrean people in a better position to challenge the system. But obviously, it is the Eritrean people that are held in a web of internal and external injustices. I hope against hope that we will not go quietly in the end. Despite your apparent wish.

      • Hayat Adem

        Haile, which land of Eritrea is under Weyane? PFDJ guys say this mantra all the time, and that is understandable. But for you to say that, you need to explain as to Which part of Eritrea is now under Weyane that must itch you constantly and leave sleepless? Can you enlighten us sir? How many Eritrean villages does Weyane occupy at this time? I want the entire list of them, and the size of the Eritrean population residing in those villages. I never encounter in your comments naming the villages or the towns under occupation. The PFDJ guys say the same always, but they never say the names or the number of villages or people living in them. If you are not saying that for the sake of repeating what our PFDJ brothers tell us, give us those lands in name and size.
        Last time I checked the entire Eritrean land and population is under occupation of the PFDJ, and that the source of our acute suffering. That is why we don’t see people running away from the Weyane “occupied” villages to reach the hinterland. The fleeing people traffic heads rather the other way.

        • Serray

          Selamat Hayat and Haile,

          Haile, Hayat has raised a very important point. You ( and the pfdjs) act as if ethiopia will handover badmae and that will be that. If the EEBC is fully implemented, there will be dozens of villages and tenth of thousands of people who will be affected. Meaning, there are villages in eritrea now that will become part of ethiopia, and vice versa.

          Given your single minded focus on demarcation, do you know which villages are affected and how many people will have to switch citizenship? While at it, do you know how many square kilometers eritrea is going to give up (and acquire) when the border is demarcated according to the EEBC? The pfdj cheerleaders have no idea that a big chuck of land is going to be exchanged between eritrea and ethiopia beside badme (because, by definition, the cheerleaders are incapable of appreciating any fact they are not told to appreciate). The exchange will have a devastating impact on families; the tragedy is, neither regimes claim most of the land awarded. The deranged psychopath is insisting on the application of the rule of law, without dialog, on this single issue because,as always, it will hurt eritreans. He doesn’t care that tenth of thousands of eritreans will find themselves on the other side of the border. Does your insistence on demarcation factor these people?

          • haile

            Selamat Hayat and Serray,

            Let me start by disclosing the entirety of the information that you are seeking for:

            http://www.pca-cpa.org/showpage.asp?pag_id=1150

            Before I go into the legal, technical and financial aspect of the matter, let me start with the human aspect of it.

            As you know by now, I do visit and see the life in Eritrea from time to time. For any Eritrean that is worth his/her salt, the state of life that Eritreans are made to endure is heart breaking. And it is too easy to fall into the trap of prioritizing political objectives despite the reality in the ground.

            You may be surprised to learn that the devil doesn’t lie, it actually blackmails. It attacks your points of weakness to force you under its influence. The weakness are not false, but the associated blackmailing is were it thrives. If you look, visit, hear and talk to people at home, you would be extremely surprised how they put up. That is until you also appreciate the fact that the nation they have exacted huge cost from them that it commands their unyielding obedience. That is a fact. PFDJ has that as the most prized asset to continue ruling, a quarter of a century and counting. The damage being solidified and rooted even deeper, for each year that passes us by.

            The loss of Hanish Islands is a done deal. So will be the case with the demarcation of the Eritrea-Ethiopia border. The demarcation process of which has taken the best of huge resources that included: thousands of peace keepers, cartography experts, lawyers, politicians, technology, intl. organizations, mediators, above all the loss of huge amount of lives that are not going to be any more.

            It is beyond any conceivable logic and pure polemics that one entertains to ‘dialog’ on the actual line of delimitation all over again. No legal basis, no moral basis, no logical basis. When the border is demarcated, both countries along with the assistance of the inl. community would have to deal with the immediate issues of resettlement and making arrangements to mitigate any possible hardship (this may even be a trust building measure in itself).

            However, to ‘dialog’ on any other pertinent issues as normalization, trade and security agreements as well as matters of economic significance as access to the ports is commendable and should even be actively encouraged for the benefit of the people and the region.

            Once the border is demarcated, I see things moving fast in the Eritrean domestic situation. The people are capable, the people have the reason and the people have the right to effect a meaningful change in their country.

            TPLF has played the card, that is directly aimed at the Eritrean people and shielded the PFDJ by providing it the most fundamental argument that the nation is in a “no war no peace” and to spin all kinds of fear mongering out of that.

            I see no benefit to Ethiopia or Eritrea to hold back from implementing a simple decision on the ground and close the chapter. Every border demarcation does have an after effect of population movements, nothing unique in this case.

            So, let’s be honest, if you threaten Ethiopians with the Nile, it is understandable that they will forget their differences. The same logic here, the nation has been threatened is more than a uniting motive.

          • Serray

            Selamat hayat and Haile,

            Hayat, I apologize if I took your question on a wrong direction but lease allow me to pursue it…

            Haile, the questions were an exercise for you to find out exactly what is involved. In other words, we wanted you to quantify the cost and benefit in terms of people displaced and territories gained or lost. Let me give you an example, would you push for demarcation if eritrea lost, on a net basis, say, seventy thousand people and 300 sq kms of fertile land?

            I used to think as you do (sometimes, I still do) that without the border excuse, the regime is exposed. The thing is, it is exposed already; everybody knows that border is just an excuse. Your assumption might be based on a false premise that the people will revolt if, after demarcation, the regime doesn’t bring normalcy. The abnormal state is based on the fact that the woyanes are enemies, since you don’t believe in dialog, what makes think that the regime will treat the woyanes as friends after demarcation (case for normalization) when the demarcation is undertaken under a hostile backdrop? There are three scenarios:

            No demarcation without dialog
            Demarcation after dialog
            Demarcation without dialog

            If I ask you to assign statistical probability to each scenario (while tplf is in power), what would you assign to 3. If you give it anything other than zero, you have a lot of explaining to do. The question is, why do you choose a scenario whose success rate is zero? Let me compound it with the example I gave you above (that eritrea will lose a large population and a good chunk of fertile land), why would you chose a scenario whose success rate is zero but, even if it isn’t, the choice hurts the nation?

            Haile, when you get a chance, take a really good look at what we gain or lose if demarcation without dialog happened. Identify the villages and the population affected. Finally, consider what Nassim Taleb calls the Black Swan; what makes you so sure that what you think will happen if demarcation without normalization is implemented?

  • zero le zero

    We are all drifting away from this venomous article of this dude Admas Haile.
    Admas, well for starters that is not an Eritrean name but never mind, you stated ‘PFDJ will pass on and our time will certainly come! and how do you accomplish that, your article doesn’t add up, you just blamed
    1. Ethiopia (which I agree with you to some extent).
    2. Tesfay Temnewo (shame on you for disrespecting a hero who exposed the ruthless movement from its inception).
    3. Eritrean Youth..bla…bla..bla.. you definitely have an issue Mr. ADMAS.
    You seem to have an agenda and the irony of all these is that Awate would not post such an article say a year ago but as we can all see the ball game has changed dramatically after the Ali Abdu saga and they seem to follow the route of Meskerem web site. Very fishy.
    Who is funding you to come up with this ridiculous idea and what is your solution since you seem to be expert in this field.
    B?

  • berhan gedem

    Tesfay Temennowo is our living hero whatever you said to him already exposed Essayas secret weapon.tesfay hero jigna eritrawi long live ,I will pray for him to stay until the end of saga. he will inter Asmara, like aboy welde-ab came Asmara when ethiopian occupation defeted.

  • berhan gedem

    I think this man tipical stooge of Essayas because all the his words antagonize each other.you are gruge and coral snake. we don’t need your songs we have enough experince.Essayas used this tactic and miss informed inocent nationalist.Admas are you Yemane Monkey or Yemane ghebremeskel better to shatup we will come to you soon or letter when acomplish our mission to our people and nation.

  • yegermal

    In another news, another dreadful dictator about to go down ….. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/13/syria-chemical-weapons-assad_n_3437640.html

  • haile

    Awate Team

    I know this may result in a sarcasm from saay or SG by way of “…oh how nice, shame no one would pay for it” :-) But in connection to the way comments are organized here, wouldn’t it be nice to get one of those comment platforms that allow for sorting comments from the: “most recent” “the first” “by date”…. Ok Ok I get it :-)

    Abel

    The point of my saying it is not our concern is that we are not a huge stake holders in terms of sourcing the Nile or using it. It wasn’t to say that other political or security dynamics that come into play as a result of what Ethiopia or Egypt do doesn’t concern us. Of course it does, and we are discussing it in detail here as you see.

    Belay

    Thanks for pointing out the obvious, and I think you deserve the good laugh from Dawit’s response. How funny can things get when you tell some one they’re handsome and they get so mad and resent you for not recognizing the ugly in them.

    Dawit, chill out, Belay is a decent Ethiopian who comes here to follow our discussions and he does criticize us when we get gross at each other. Check all his entries, he is a very respectful participant.

    • yegermal

      A little tip to how to overcome that :). Use the “find” option from your browser, then type the date, e.g., June 13, et voila you will scroll through all the most recent comments. BTW, do you get paid by the number of comments you read? jk of course!

      • haile

        yegermal…thanks, that would help for now (sometimes the simplest solutions are easy to overlook:)

        My pay is calculated by using a complicated formula that includes all sorts of variables as: how many comments I read, I many I make, the ratio of good:bad response from you guys, daily exchange rate and bank fees. However, I never been able to get paid yet because the whole expression has to be multiplied by the ratio awatista donation/total visits. My pay check seems to come out as $0 after this final step :-)

    • http://www.asmarino.com Dawit

      Haile,

      I don’t know who is who in Awate, but I do know one thing:I am an Eritrean whether I like it or not. I once asked a visa to go and see my parents in Eritrea. The lady at Washington D.C. Embassy of Eritrea asked me if I had an Eritrean I.D. I told her I was an American. She looked at me as if I was crazy. She insisted that I needed to bring an Eritrean I.D.. I asked her why I, a naturalized citizen of american, with a U.S. passport was not allowed to have a visa. Her answer was ” you are originally from Eritrea, you speak tigrina, therefore you are an Eritrean”. She said this seemingly logical statement in Tigrina. What she said was essentially similar to the famous tigrina saying: “Ita Zagra , tinfer , aytinfer, teL eya” . So, instead of going to Eritrea, I went to Ethiopia and spent quality time with a number of Eritrean-Ethiopians (or Ethiopians of Eritrean ancestry)

      Who knows , Haile might be a Chinese Eritrean.

      You said “…ouldn’t it be nice to get one of those comment platforms that allow for sorting comments from the: “most recent” “the first” “by date”…. Ok Ok I get it “.

      I remember Mr. Gadi has once asked if there are any individuals with technical expertise. If you have basic knowledge in server side scripting langages (such PHP) you might be able to write a sorting algorithm for Awate.

      • rodab

        Dawit,
        So let me see if I get this right: you wanted to visit Eritrea to see your parents and when some lady at the Embassy refused to grant you a visa, you decided ‘oh well, let me go to Ethiopia’? How come you didnt make any effort to, say, speak with her superior or someone else at the Embassy? For me it would be a huge decision to postpone my trip to Eritrea and instead decide to go to a different country right there and then. For you,it seems as easy as deciding like ‘oh let me skpip this gas station and fill in gas at the other gas staion next to it :-) It’s breathtaking!
        That’s funny and it reminds me a Seinfeld episode where he tells a joke about someone planning to take a buiness trip to Europe and when they told him the unavialability of the business, he goes ‘oh well fine, I’ll just go there for a cup of coffee then’.

      • haile

        Dawit,

        See my reply to Semere below in relation to the suggestion you made.

        Visa…well I don’t doubt it (‘cos I know). Actually, they say you are free to visit on a visitor’s visa. However, in practice, they would probably only issue you for one time only (if you are native Eritrean – Tigrinya speaker :-) ), even that only for emergency visit. They would also make sure you really get a good deal hassle just to discourage you from going down that avenue again (psychological warfare:). They also tell you point blank (in word of mouth) not to re-apply like that again and to get your ID (A small piece of laminated paper with a bold typeface heading Provisional Government of Eritrea:) …so I know what you mean ma man :)

    • Semere Andom

      Hiaile I second your idea for purchasing the platform that allows for sorting, but I also suggest that we, the beneficiaries of this service pay 2% of to awate, can you second me on this idea :-)

      Semere A

      • haile

        Semere A

        Well, well…gdef eba neger keytemtsalom (wala 3% elka qeyr zeytebla). The number 2 and the % symbol have become synonymous with bad luck when they appear together. Especially in Canada :-)

        On a serous note though, I think we are well aware of who is doing his part and who isn’t when it comes to users/owners in this great website.

        For now though, I was suggesting one of those freely available comment management systems. For example, the core platform for Disqus is free. It allows the latest comment management system to users and website owners. Leaving comments or responding to a comment on a Disqus-powered system is a bliss, it is almost real time. Latest comments are reflected instantly without the need to refresh the entire page. For site owners, they can (optionally) be notified via email when a comment has been made on their website, and the best part is – they can respond to it right away from their email. And for commenters, they can even attach additional media (photo, link, video, etc) along with their comments. Disqus also offers a mobile app.

        There are a couple more others, depending on the type of interactivity site owners envisage for their patrons. Livefyre comes to mind. Its core platform allows for commenter to tag other users in their comment using the ‘@’ symbol, pretty similar to what you can do on Facebook. Tagging LiveFyre, Facebook, Twitter users are supported. Every time you enter a comment, you can also choose to have them posted simultaneously to Twitter, Facebook or both. Similarly you can also share someone else’s comments on Twitter and Facebook.

        Whenever someone chooses to “follow” a conversation, they are automatically listening meaning they will get notification whenever there is an update. Livefyre shows you in numbers, how many commenters are online and how many are listening to a particular conversation.

        ItenseDebate is another one, best with wordpress and similar blogs. Hence, there are possible avenues for change, for without change you risk appearing a broke :-)

    • abel

      Haile,
      May I ask some personal questions?
      Are you confident your Eritreaness?you either trying too much to prove ur identity or worse you suffering from some acute inferiority complex to Tigray?such personality disorder are normaly exibited in only of the above senarios.My gut tells me you are from the illdefined border towns,say Zalambessa,Tsorona,Senafe.. Right?

      • haile

        Abel,

        guday meninetey b’goni zla’Al ar’Esti zeykone ab gmbaru z’hrem nay qdmitn meseretawn hito eyu. ertra dma hade haile zeykone millionat haile z’Aqoret hager sle zKhonet, men yTht men ydenin gyze kmlsho eyo..sKfn dmbrxn aybelka.

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